When selecting a plastic surgeon, board certification is a non-negotiable. Working with a board certified plastic surgeon ensures a certain standard of education, knowledge, experience and skill.
You must look for a plastic surgeon that is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS), or board-eligible. This is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to govern plastic surgeons.
The distinction is critical because some doctors call themselves “plastic surgeons” or “cosmetic surgeons,” but aren’t actually certified by the ABPS. A board certified dermatologist or OB-GYN could market themselves as a cosmetic surgeon in order to cast a wider net for potential patients. This happens more often than you would think, and can lead to botched or even deadly outcomes.
The plastic surgeon is educated.
To become board certified, a plastic surgeon must have an undergraduate degree and a medical degree (MD) or osteopathy degree (DO) from an accredited university.
The plastic surgeon is trained.
The surgeon must complete six years of surgical training after medical school before becoming eligible for board certification. A minimum of three of those years must be dedicated to plastic surgery residency training. This training covers a wide range of procedures for the face and body. It also teaches the plastic surgeon to prevent and handle emergencies.
In addition to developing technical skills during their training, plastic surgeons refine their aesthetic judgement. Attention to detail and form is important, as plastic surgery requires a deep understanding of balance and proportion.
The plastic surgeon is knowledgeable.
A board certified plastic surgeon must pass rigorous written (and sometimes oral) examination to test their knowledge of the specialty. They must keep up to date on industry best practices and the latest advances within the specialty.
The plastic surgeon adheres to high professional standards.
Board certified plastic surgeons must adhere to strict safety and ethics standards. They must be licensed by the state(s) in which they work, and operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities. They must follow a strict code of ethics set forth by the medical board.
If you would like to schedule an informational consultation with Dr. Pearl or Dr. Ereso to discuss your plastic surgery options, please call our practice at (650) 964-6600 today.